window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; function gtag(){dataLayer.push(arguments);} gtag('js', new Date()); gtag('config', 'G-2SDTJTBDFN'); Steelroots - Steve Tobin


The STEELROOTS Series is a natural evolution of my BRONZE ROOT series. In moving from bronze to steel, I have transitioned from a naturalist sculptor to the modernist tradition. The metaphor of roots remains the same as with the bronze, but by moving from life casting to replacing it with formed steel, the sculptures become less literal and more allegorical. STEELROOTS evoke families, communities, relationships, all unseen power, coming together for a shared purpose. The sculptures gather energy from the underground and send it upward in support of the ‘tree’ that is implied but not visually apparent. Curvilinear geometries of the negative spaces frame the view, creating landscapes in the negative spaces that ebb and flow as the viewer moves around and under the piece. The legs are anthropomorphic, suggesting images of people dancing or huddling together in embrace and collusion. STEELROOTS are meant to create a sense of gathering. Distilled imagery from Asian calligraphy translates into words and figures in the sculpture; the shadows can be read both as calligraphy and as figurative relationships.

STEELROOTS evoke dancing figures, families, tangled and entwined and embracing. When standing underneath or “inside” the sculpture, the world is dissected by the curvilinear roots. When looking up from underneath, the ever-changing light and sky are framed by the swirling roots, creating fresh landscapes of the sky. The viewers feel sheltered and transformed by the space created inside the root structure, becoming part of the unseen but implied tree. Juxtaposed with the buildings in cities, they are fantastical organic root gods, protecting and animating the space they occupy as well as the spaces in between and around the sculptures. The surroundings and ever-changing light and shadows give context and life to the sculptures like flesh gives to bones.